DLA Piper pulls out of Heenan Blaikie Canada deal

DLA Piper’s plans to enter the Canadian market have been put on hold after its talks with a group of lawyers from collapsed firm Heenan Blaikie collapsed yesterday.

DLA Piper had been looking to hire up to 70 lawyers from Heenan Blaikie (7 February 2014) and make its first steps into the Canadian legal market, a strategic move that has been long awaited (7 March 2011).

Now its ambition to expand into the market have been set back, with DLA Piper confirming that the two sides were “unable to agree to economic terms”.

In a statement DLA Piper said: “As we announced last week, DLA Piper was in discussions with a group of lawyers at Heenan Blaikie about joining the firm in Canada. However, on Sunday night, after additional due diligence and consideration over the weekend, we were unable to agree to economic terms and accommodate the needs of the lawyers at Heenan Blaikie. As a result, we have ended all negotiations.”

The firm added that it would continue its search for “future opportunities” in Canada.

DLA Piper and lawyers from Heenan Blaikie’s Calgary and Toronto offices been in discussions for several weeks.

The 40-year old Montreal-based firm, whose partners voted to dissolve the practice last week, has eight offices in Canada, as well as a small base in Paris.

Heenan Blaikie’s collapse has also resulted in the creation of a Vancouver-based litigation outfit – Gall Legge Grant & Munroe – which has been set up by Heenan’s founder Roy Heenan, according to Reuters.